Physical activity levels and patterns of 19-month-old children

Hnatiuk, Jill, Ridgers, Nicola D., Salmon, Jo, Campbell, Karen, McCallum, Zoe and Hesketh, Kylie 2012, Physical activity levels and patterns of 19-month-old children, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 1715-1720.

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Title Physical activity levels and patterns of 19-month-old children
Author(s) Hnatiuk, Jill
Ridgers, Nicola D.
Salmon, Jo
Campbell, Karen
McCallum, Zoe
Hesketh, Kylie
Journal name Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume number 44
Issue number 9
Start page 1715
End page 1720
Total pages 6
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2012-09
ISSN 0195-9131
Keyword(s) toddler
active play
Summary Purpose: It is a commonly held perception that most young children are naturally active and meet physical activity recommendations. However, there is no scientific evidence available on which to confirm or refute such perceptions. The purpose of this study was to describe the physical activity levels and patterns of Australian toddlers.

Methods: Physical activity and demographic data of two hundred ninety-five 19-month-old children from the Melbourne InFANT Program were measured using accelerometers and parent surveys. Validated cut points of 192–1672 and >1672 counts per minute were used to determine time spent in light- (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous- (MVPA) intensity physical activity, respectively. To be included in the analysis, children were required to have four valid days of accelerometer data to provide an acceptable (>0.70) reliability estimate of LPA and MVPA. Physical activity data for different periods of the day were examined.

Results: On average, toddlers engaged in 184 min of LPA and 47 min of MVPA daily, and 90.5% met the current Australian physical activity recommendations for 0- to 5-yr-olds (180 min of LPA/MVPA per day). Physical activity levels during mid morning and mid afternoon were higher than those during other periods. Physical activity patterns for boys and girls were similar, although boys engaged in more physical activity during the morning hours than girls did.

Conclusions: Most children meet the physical activity recommendations, although the majority of activity undertaken in the study was of light intensity. Boys were more active than girls were in the morning hours, but there were no differences between sexes over the entire day. Certain periods of the day may hold more promise for intervention implementation than others do.

Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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